“It’s time.” you think to yourself as you begin your journey to achieve new, toned, and substantial muscle mass. To begin your healthy lifestyle, you buy a membership to your local gym (or create your own gym at home, buy your own weights, etc.. whatever floats your boat.)

Weight lifting doesn’t have to be specifically devoted to the gym, as there are hundreds of ways of achieving your goals without doing so. (we’ll look into this later on.)

However, if you decide to take the gym route.. You may walk into the weight room, and if you take a look, everyone seems to be experienced on their own routine. Likewise, most people that hang around the weight room are lifting heavy and consistently.

So you ask yourself, how and when will I see results? Well, one thing of for sure – pronounced, shredded muscles do not happen overnight.

muscular man lifts dumbbells

Making the choice to making valuable choices to your health requires tons of effort and self-discipline.

But if the visual benefits of your efforts are not immediately visible, or if they are not improving fast enough, that could be sufficient to throw you off your path.

So, here’s a timeline of what happens in your muscle-finding expedition.

First few weeks

If you are a new to weight lifting – good news! Usually called the “newbie effect,” your first month is where you will see the biggest gains. This comes in the terms of reduced body fat, increased psychical strength and greater muscle mass. This is the time window where your body adapts to the new challenges (best time to make changes to your diet as well.) Decent results take approximately 3-4 weeks of a consistent routine to show.

If you want to literally see your progress, you should start taking daily mirror selfies (for yourself only!). This will make you see your progress clearer. Muscle gain changes are difficult to see if you look at yourself everyday, because they happen gradually and slowly.

Month two to three

By this time, you have (hopefully!) created new healthy habits. Your body has adapted to your routine and your nutrition has improved appreciably. You feel fitter and stronger and your progress should be notable.

Now a walking (or running) a flight of stairs is effortless. There are dozens of changes happening in your body. Your lungs are able to take more oxygen and your muscles use the energy stored in your body more efficiently.

Month three and thereafter

Your body is now fully transformed, lifting isn’t new anymore, and it becomes a part of your lifestyle. Even if you decide to stop lifting in the future, muscle memory can last years, if not a lifetime.

At this point you can start changing your fitness program, work on different muscle groups to improve or just start a new hobby! Even though your progress might slow down at this point, you are still increasing your muscle mass and strength.

This is the time period where you “maintain” your body, you can start doing more reps instead of higher weights to create stronger and toned muscles.

Advice & Tips

Make sure you are eating enough protein – If you are not consuming enough protein, take a look at protein supplements and learn how they can make you gain muscle faster.

A constant nutritional diet – protein, vegetables and fibers are essential for your muscles to grow bigger and healthier.

Eat healthy carbs after your workout – to replenish your glycogen storage, as this is the main source of fuel during your workout.

Limit the bad carbs – juice, soda, white bread, cookies, candy, french fries. (I know!) they sound delicious, but they limit your progress.

Drink more water – water is lost through sweat during your workout, replenishing it is important to maintain healthy hydration levels.

Sleep more – your muscles recover while you sleep! Make sure to get 8 hours or more.

More Interesting Finds

The Importance of Sleep for Muscle Recovery

26 Foods That Help You Build Lean Muscle

4 Keys to Strength Building and Muscle Mass

Are You Eating for Muscle Growth?

The 4-Week Workout Plan to Gain 10 Pounds of Muscle